Mar 23, 2020

Here's how to borrow up to 16 FREE eBooks for your Kids without leaving the house

Compared to life three months ago, we are living in vastly different times these days. In a time where social distancing and being socially responsible are drilled into everyone, it is great that we can all borrow eBooks from Singapore's National Library Board (NLB) without leaving the house!

Yes, in case you didn't know, you can borrow eBooks from the library - and more than 3.5 million titles in 4 languages at that! - and download them into your electronic devices. In fact, the kids will be able to search for the books themselves and borrow them effortlessly!

You can borrow up to 16 eBooks (including eAudiobooks). Each ebook lasts for 21 days and the beauty of the system is the eBook will automatically expire after that so there are no fines to worry about for overdue items! Plus, you don't even have to head down to the library to return the books!

How do you get started on borrowing eBooks from NLB?

Firstly, you need to be a Singapore National Library member AND have a myLibrary ID. If are already a NLB member but do not have the myLibrary ID, you can sign up via online HERE. Or you can download the NLB Mobile App from the App Store or Google Play to register as well.

If you are NOT a NLB member at all, you must first sign up to be one before having a myLibrary ID. Annual membership is free for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents but the latter will be charged a one-time registration fee of $10.50. Singaporeans and PRs can immediately sign up via online (for SingPass users aged 15 and above) while foreigners have to head to the nearest NLB library to sign up.

Next, download the NLB Mobile App onto your electronic devices.

Sign in with your myLibrary ID and password, and you can proceed to browse for book titles and borrow them if they are available.

In addition to borrowing eBooks, eAudiobooks, accesssing eNewspapers, eMagazines and online courses, NLB Mobile also lets you easily check your account and perform transaction like the payment of fines.

Search for the eBooks you want, and proceed to borrow if they are available.

But here's an IMPORTANT point: while NLB Mobile lets you read or listen to eBooks & eAudiobooks while you are connected to the Internet, it does not have an in-built reader for you to read downloaded eBooks.

How do I download eBooks so that I can read them offline?

Download the FREE Libby App from App Store or Google Play.

Libby is a third-party app which allows you to borrow and download NLB's eBooks and eAudiobooks, so that you can enjoy them even when you are offline.

Once you have downloaded the app, you have to set it up for the first time so that you are able to borrow eBooks from NLB. Don't worry, the set-up process is a breeze.

When asked if you have a library card, tap "Yes". Then, let Libby guess your library by tapping "Yes, Guess My Library".

National Library Board will be shown in the next page and tap "This Is My Library".

Enter your library account details (myLibrary ID and password) and you are all set!

You will then be brought to the main page of NLB where you can browse and search for eBooks.

There are loads of titles to browse, with a section dedicated for kids.

You can search for specific titles... for Ale, she wanted 'Dork Diaries'.

Unfortunately, most of the Dork Diaries eBooks' borrowing quotas were full but you can tap "Place Hold" to reserve the eBook. Once the next copy is available, it will appear in your borrowed books list.

For eBooks that are avilable, you can simply tap on "Borrow" and it will automatically be downloaded onto your device so that you can read them offline.

When the download is complete, just open the book to begin reading!

Frankly, it cannot get easier than this and everything is so simple that a child can do it. What I like about the eReader app is there is a scrub timeline for the eBooks so that you can drag the scrub control to shuttle forward or backward to the page that you had previously left off.

To see the eBooks that are currently on loan, just tap on "Shelf".

Empower the kids by allowing them to explore the eBooks listing and choosing which eBooks to borrow on their own. Even if an eBook is mistakenly borrowed, you can just tap on the eBook and return in immediately. No hassle!

More importantly, you don't even have to step out of the house, head down to the library and come into contact with the physical books. Of course, not every hard copy book at the library has an eBook version but I would say the selection is pretty adequate... plus the chances of borrowing a popular eBook is much higher!

And best of all, you can borrow up to 16 eBooks per account and everything's FREE!

For more information and FAQ on using Libby, click HERE.

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